In this short talk, Guy Finley explains the difference between the false kind of shame that shackles us to a self that is trapped in the past, and the proper kind of conscious remorse that is the seed of true humility and freedom.
No individual relationship is the (sole) cause of one’s conflict or pain; our relationships reveal the nature of an unconscious pain that we bring into them with us. To start discerning the difference between these (two) perceptions is the beginning of freedom from blame, shame, and other acts of useless thinking.
Question: I’ve seen that I’ve said and done some terrible things to people in my life. How do I get through this guilt and shame? Is there a right way to make amends to the people I’ve wronged?
Answer: Oh yes, there is. Change yourself. In the long run, there is no other way that we can either be forgiven for who and what we have been, nor is there any other way to truly forgive others. Start by daring to stay awake to these recurring bouts with shame and, instead of identifying with the negative sensation that is merely a rerun of your old nature, drop it like a hot rock. You’ll have to work at this, but real results will follow.
No animal hides in shame for being itself. No tree bends to the opinion of others. No wind avoids the granite face before it. Only human beings cultivate ways in which to fawn or cower before one another, and all for the sake of winning nothing but a fleeting feeling that for their cunning they have made it through one more day.